SAN ANTONIO - Texas lawmakers are about to take up a bill that many fear could cost San Antonio millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. State Senator Jose Menendez spoke out Friday against the proposed "bathroom bill."
Legislating bathrooms has been the talk of Texas since January when lawmakers introduced S.B. 6 or the "bathroom bill" that would require people to use the bathroom associated with the gender on their birth certificate.
Proponents unable to get the bill passed during the regular session now have a chance to go at it again, starting next week during the special session called by Governor Abbott.
State Senator Jose Menendez spoke Friday urging people to lobby their lawmakers to oppose it. He says that the bill would deal a huge blow to San Antonio's economy.
"We've got 130,000 people who work in the tourism industry. Think about that, that's 130,000 families. We've got several conventions that have already said, 'If this bill passes, we will no longer be in San Antonio, we're not coming to San Antonio, we're not coming to Texas,'" Menendez said.
A similar law, which was recently repealed in North Carolina, cost the state nearly $200 million in canceled conventions, concerts, and sporting events. Critics worry that the same thing could happen in San Antonio if the NCAA Final Four that's set to take place here next year is relocated.
Leaders in the tech world have spoken out against the bill saying it would also deter talented young people from wanting to live here.
"Young people are typically in the tech scene, progressive, and open and about innovation and progress, and so any sense that certain cities or areas are discriminatory or don't vibrate with the kind of lifestyle choices and decisions and openness that they desire, it makes it too easy for them to pick a different city to build their career and their life in," said David Heard, CEO of TechBloc.
Prominent Republicans like House Speaker Joe Straus have sided with the Democrats on this issue.
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